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Reps to FG: Explore options to bring down price of cooking gas

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The House of Representatives yesterday urged the Federal Government to be proactive by developing effective mechanisms and explore different mitigation options to cushion the effect of persistent rise in the price of Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG on the common citizens.

It also asked the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR to raid all  illegal liquefied petroleum gas stations across the country to safeguard lives and properties of the people.

The resolutions followed two separate motions considered at plenary yesterday.

In the first motion, titled “Urgent Need to Check the Persistent Increase in the Price of Liquefied Natural Gas (Cooking Gas)”, by Afolabi Olalekan Rasheed, the House noted that Nigerians were facing hard times.

While presenting the motion, Rasheed said: “Nigerians have been facing challenges, including insecurity, extreme poverty, high cost of food and essential consumables and, most recently, a persistent rise in the price of cooking gas.

“Cooking gas is a basic need for many Nigerians, especially those living in the urban and semi-urban areas, who use it daily for preparation of meals.

“Nigeria, which is ranked 9th among the countries in the world with the highest reservoir of gas resources with about 207 trillion standard cubits’ feet as of 2019, would subject its citizens to such hardship arising from high cost of cooking gas.

“A kilogram of gas which was initially sold for three hundred naira is now sold within the range of seven hundred to eight hundred and fifty naira, which has further plunged Nigerians into untold hardship as such basic necessity is increasingly becoming unaffordable.

“The hike in the price of the product was blamed by marketers on the recently introduced import charges and Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Federal Government, whereas in other countries, the government actively protects and cushions the impact of rising gas price on vulnerable citizens.

“A prolonged increase in the prices of essential items especially during the Yuletide season could have grave social consequences as it could worsen the economic hardship, thus forcing people into resorting to crime and other vices in order to survive.”

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Gas Resources to liaise with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to proffer a lasting solution to the increase in the price of cooking gas.

In another motion, titled “Need to Check Illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Stations Across the Country”, presented by Taiwo Oluga, the House asked the relevant authorities to commence raid on all illegal liquefied stations.

It read:  “The Department of Petroleum Resources is statutorily empowered to ensure compliance with petroleum Laws, Regulations and Guidelines in the oil industry, which includes monitoring drilling sites, production wells, production platforms and flow-stations, crude oil terminals, refineries, storage depots, pump stations, retail outlets and other locations where petroleum, natural gas and allied products are stored.

“The Department is responsible for ensuring that health, safety and environmental regulations 

in the oil industry conform to international best practices.

“There is an avalanche of illegal marketers and gas outlets of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas on the streets in the Federal Capital Territory and other states of the federation, which is in contravention of international health and safety standards.

“The prevalence of illegal marketers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) on the streets is a critical threat to lives and properties of the citizenry”.

“The House resolves to urge the Department of Petroleum Resources to immediately commence a raid on illegal liquefied petroleum gas stations across the country to safeguard lives and properties of the people.”

While adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committee on Gas to ensure compliance with the resolution.

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